AS we go through our routines every day, we contribute to the release and build-up of substances that can cause harm to our environment. One of these substances is a group of gases called the greenhouse gases which are emitted constantly without us being cognizant of how much we contribute and their effects.
Carbon footprint is a measure of the impact of our activities on the environment and can contribute to Climate Change. It relates to the amount (tonnes or kg) of greenhouse gases produced in our day-to-day lives through burning fossil fuels for electricity, transportation and production, among other activities.
Some of us might have a Carbon Footprint that is larger than others. This means that the larger your Carbon Footprint, the more emissions you produce. Even activities that seem virtually harmless can increase your carbon footprint and add to the greenhouse gas problem. By measuring your Carbon Footprint you will have an idea of the quantity of greenhouse emissions you, as an individual, produce during your daily activities.
We can contribute to carbon emissions through activities such as driving vehicles and operating machines that use fossil fuels, emissions from factories and industries etc. Additionally, cutting down of trees allow carbon dioxide to accumulate, food and water wastage and leaving our lights on when they are not in use.
The Carbon Footprint is a very powerful tool in understanding the impact of personal behaviour on global warming. Most people are shocked when they see the amount of CO2 their activities create! If you would like to contribute to fight global warming, work towards reducing your Carbon Footprint because collective action can make a difference.
You can reduce your Carbon Footprint by:
• Reducing the amount of waste you produce;
• Reusing items as much as possible;
• Recycling when possible;
• Turning off lights when they are not needed. Making use of daylight –open windows and drawback curtains to use natural light as much as possible;
• Opting for energy-saving light bulbs;
• Turning off computers and fans when not in use;
• Purchasing energy-efficient appliances that have the energy star symbol;
• Conserving water. Our water companies burn fossil fuel to purify and pump water to our homes;
• Avoiding using disposable items;
• Avoiding using plastic bags. Opt for reusable bags or baskets when going to the market; and
• Using public transport or carpool as much as possible.
Greenhouse gases occur naturally. However, our activities have increased the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere beyond the point that nature can handle. This according to Scientists has resulted in global warming and Climate Change. We cannot stop our carbon emissions completely but we can take actions towards reducing it to help fight Climate Change. Do your part to help improve your quality of life!
You can calculate your Carbon Footprint at the website http://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx and take action towards reducing the size of your footprint. It will save you money and it will also help to save the environment.
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